Ford Foundation to end racial equity fellowship by 2028


The Ford Foundation will gradually phase out its financial commitment to a racial equity fellowship program by 2028, according to a Friday statement by the foundation’s president.

Darren Walker called the winding down of the Ford Fellowships at the National Academies a “painful sacrifice, but a necessary one” in the statement. 

“We understand and respect that some may disagree with our judgment,” Mr. Walker said. “To be clear, no one is declaring victory for diversity and equity in higher education — not in the United States, not around the world.” 

Fellowships seek to increase the diversity of the nation’s college and university faculties by increasing their ethnic and racial diversity, according to the program’s website. 

The decision was made in 2020 against what Mr. Walker called the “backdrop of America’s historic reckoning with racial inequality.” He said the foundation wants to invest more in other movement-building work, but didn’t elaborate. 

The fellowship will still accept a full round of applicants for 2023, and a limited number of applicants for 2024. Anyone who is currently serving as a fellow will still be allowed to fulfill their three-year term.


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